Rwanda’s Exemplary Commitment to Biodiversity Conservation Becomes a Lesson to the World

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Kigali, Rwanda – Tuesday, 5 March 2024

In a gathering of global leaders and stakeholders at the 7th Global Policy Forum on Natural Capital, currently underway in Kigali, Rwanda’s steadfast dedication to environmental preservation has emerged as a beacon of hope and inspiration for nations worldwide.

Dr. Claudine Uwera, Rwanda’s Minister of State for the Environment, took center stage to provide insights  on Rwanda’s pioneering journey towards biodiversity conservation.

Dr. Claudine Uwera, Rwanda’s Minister of State for the Environment

“Since 2012, Rwanda has been at the forefront of championing biodiversity protection, enganging  with African counterparts and cementing crucial memoranda of understanding,” remarked Dr. Uwera, underlining the nation’s proactive stance towards preserving natural resources.

These agreements, she emphasized, laid the groundwork for a comprehensive approach to natural resource management, stressing the imperative of understanding, safeguarding, and harnessing resources for sustainable development.

The year 2014 marked a significant milestone for Rwanda as it embarked on an ambitious endeavor in environmental statistics, aiming to quantify its natural resources. Dr. Uwera underscored the invaluable collaboration with the World Bank, which empowered Rwanda to gather essential data vital for informed decision-making processes.

Dr. Uwera’s impassioned plea for global solidarity in embracing natural capital accounting resonated profoundly throughout the forum, underscoring the dire consequences of inaction. She stressed the urgent need for policies that prioritize the well-being of both people and the planet, urging nations worldwide to emulate Rwanda’s exemplary leadership in this regard.

Commending Rwanda’s forward-thinking approach to natural capital investment, Dr. Valerie Hickey, Global Director of Environment, Nature Resources & Blue Economy at the World Bank, hailed Rwanda as a trailblazer and a model for others to emulate. Emphasizing nature’s pivotal role in poverty alleviation and economic prosperity, Dr. Hickey urged countries to draw inspiration from Rwanda’s unwavering commitment to nature-based economic activities.

Dr. Valerie Hickey, Global Director of Environment, Nature Resources & Blue Economy at the World Bank

Organized in collaboration with the United Nations Statistics Division, the forum aimed to bridge the gap between data providers, policymakers, and the investment community, with a particular focus on harnessing natural capital data to advance the goals outlined in the Global Biodiversity Framework.

Rwanda’s resolute dedication to biodiversity conservation and its embrace of data-driven decision-making stand as a testament to its unwavering commitment to combat environmental degradation on a global scale. As leaders and stakeholders depart from Kigali, they carry with them not only valuable insights but also the indomitable spirit and determination embodied by Rwanda’s tireless efforts to safeguard our planet’s natural heritage.

Joshua Kwihangana

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